SPY REPORT: Inside Scion's big Miami Beach product reveal
Sorry folks, there are no pictures to show you, as cameras and phones were strictly prohibited, but our spy gave us very detailed descriptions of the cars that were revealed. Want to know more? Follow the jump for the skinny.
As we said, the venue was the Miami Beach Convention Center, and the event was presided over by Mark Templin, vice president of Scion. The room was loaded with highly-modified existing Scions, the FUSE concept that made its debut at the New York Auto Show back in April, and a pair of cars that were hidden under covers. Guests were treated to an open bar and plenty of free food prior to the big show.
Shortly thereafter, Templin kicked off the event by introducing actor Rainn Wilson of The Office, who spoke briefly and presented awards to some of the invited guests. From there, Templin ushered everyone to the area where the covered vehicles were for the evening's main event.
The Scion xA is no more. Templin's first reveal was its replacement, dubbed xD. Like it's predecessor, it is a four-door with a vertically opening rear hatch. The C-pillar on the car shown was said to be around a foot-and-a-half wide, with no windows on the sides of the cargo area. Our spy says that the xD is definitely larger than the xA, and has a profile reminiscent of Toyota's Matrix, and that the rear end was evocative of the Mazda3.
The xD's hood stretched down over the vehicle's front end a bit, and sported conventional headlights. The car's fog lights, were deceiving, however. At first glance, they simply look like plain covers where the fogs would normally reside, but a closer look revealed a cluster of around fifteen 5mm LEDs. The fogs were never illuminated during the reveal.
Inside, drivers get a floor-mounted shifter, and cup holders are built into all four doors. The show car was lowered and wore a body kit designed by Five Axis (creators of the 2005 xA Speedster concept). The lowering springs and body kit will be available through Scion. The car was painted bright red, and some interior panels were color-matched, but it's unknown whether or not that's standard. Templin made no announcements regarding a release date or pricing, and our spy believed that the xD may still need a little work, as an uneven hood gap was spotted on the car shown.
Our spy also specifically noted that the xD is not a copy of the Auris, which some people had apparently expected.
Unlike its stablemate, the xB keeps its name, and despite a softening of its overall look, it's said to be unmistakably an xB. It's body configuration is unchanged, but it is larger in every dimension. Like the xD, the rear glass and c/d pillar are replaced by a wide C-pillar that obscures the car's cargo area. Those rear windows housed an embedded antenna in the old xB, and their absence necessitates the installation of a stubby roof-mounted unit at the rear of the car. Staying at the back end of the car for a moment, our source reports that there's a single backup light in the rear bumper on the driver's side.
In front, the car's upright windshield angle closely matches that of the current model, and the new xB also gets a downward-wrapping hood, similar in description to the one featured on the aforementioned xD. The headlamps on the displayed car were projectors. Another new styling element is a ridge that begins at the hood and extends along the sides of the car below the windows. The side glass tapers upward as it stretches further back, and the beltline rises accordingly.
The xB on display was also dressed in a body kit by Five Axis, and it was finished in a yellow/orange pearl. Inside, it receives a console-mounted shifter similar to the one found in Honda's Element. That console, incidentally, is said to be quite large and illustrative of the xB's overall growth in size. The gauge cluster is once again center-mounted, but it is reportedly better-integrated and appeared to contain more instrumentation than the current car. Like the xD, the xB features cup holders built into its four doors. The plastic textures on the door panels were described as being somewhat classier and shiny-looking (this applied to xD as well).
The xB sported a dual exhaust, which was believed to be part of an available exhaust upgrade (our source caught Templin mentioning something to that effect). Both the xD and xB were equipped with 18" aftermarket wheels, and the cars were presented on rotating displays, with the xB's standing a foot higher than the xD's.
Based on our spy's description, it sounds as if many of the basic styling cues introduced on the t2B concept (shown below) are in place. Time will tell, as we fully expect to see these cars make their public debut during the '07 auto show circuit.
There's a bit of mystery surrounding the powerplants for the two new Scions. Our spy stated that at the beginning of the presentation, a model opened the hoods of the cars, exposing a plastic engine cover that looked very much like the one fitted over the tC's 2.4L. While the hoods were up, decals on the engine covers read "2ZR-FE." After a couple of minutes, our source said that a male staffer hurriedly closed the hoods on both cars. During his presentation, Templin announced that a supercharger will be available.
And that, friends, sums it up. After the presentation, guests were treated to an hour-long live performance by Ludacris, and were shuttled off to a nightclub for a post-event party. We'll keep our ears to the ground for more news, as we're sure gossip was flying during the Hot Import Nights staged at the Convention Center yesterday.
Scion t2B Concept (for styling reference)
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